Coaching – A fabric for organisational adaptability

As the world becomes more and more dynamic, organisations (people, structures, processes, systems, culture, etc.) are expected to adapt to the demands brought on by disruptive industry trends and digital efficiencies. What is more apparent and perhaps challenging to some is that the adaptation is no longer taking place at an industry level or even at a region or county level. Organisations are fast expected to adapt at a global level. Unfortunately, some are still just reacting and not adapting. In addition their reaction is a response to changes within their immediate purview. Organisations face countless challenges both externally and internally. How they identify these challenges and bring them under control determines their ability to remain competitive.

There are various unique organisational capabilities that enable organizations to adapt, these include; leadership styles, technological advancement, digital intelligence, a culture conducive to change, strong corporate entrepreneurship, and a learning culture, amongst other factors. This article focuses on coaching. Which may enable the identification and implementation of the above mentioned and other organisational capabilities. The stronger the coaching fabric of an organisation, the more flexible and agile and the better equipped it is to adapt to change. This includes change from within the organisation and change within the environment which the organisation operates. More often than not, the strategy of an organisation is made or broken at the middle to senior management level. This is the level at which coaching is mostly required and highly effective, however not limited to (management). Many management and C-suite recruiters today have identified the ability to coach and to be coached as a critical leadership and management skill. In addition most organisations have included it in their management and leadership development initiatives.

Organisations must be able to adapt, as a result of coaching outcomes. Coaching helps individuals to; explore and analyse problems with depth, develop proactive and solution-focused habits and behaviour, support each other and create a psychologically safe environment for growth. It promotes creativity and resilience, in turn creates a culture of high performance. This gives organisations a competitive edge, especially in an environment of continuous change. Coaching facilitates an environment that eliminates old and ill habits, it stimulates and encourages innovation and establishes network team thinking and integrated processes. Thus fostering an environment fit for business strategy development and implementation, which would otherwise be a daunting task, amidst major transformation and uncertainty. Organisations must employ the expertise of organisation design specialists, to champion coaching and other fundamental initiatives that promote a culture of adaptability. Overlooking this need can be very detrimental to an organisation. The inevitability of disruption can affect the morale in the workplace and impact on productivity and performance of employees, putting strategy implementation (and transformation) efforts at risk. Businessman and chief executive officer of Chrysler, Robert Nardelli said, “I absolutely believe that people, unless coached, never reach their maximum capabilities.” Orgsnisations should invest in coaching as a resource to achieve sustainability, through adaptability.